This Fall and Winter many Americans may be looking for an alternative to the Caribbean – and we have an idea for them. Portugal has two sets of Atlantic islands with mild climates and that are easy to get to. The Azores are nine islands in the middle of the Atlantic, slightly more than half way when traveling from New York to Portugal. Their land mass takes up 868 square miles and is home to only 240,000 people. The Azores are the closest point in Europe to the United States, and are popular stopping off point for passing yachts. This is in keeping with their history as a key spot for Portugal’s oceanic explorers and for traders from other countries, especially at the port of Angra on the island of Terceira, now a World Heritage site. The climate is mild year-round, and summer can last into December. The Madeira Islands, an archipelago 750 miles southwest of Lisbon in the Atlantic Ocean, have a nearly perfect climate—warm in winter. Visitors come for the natural beauty, and they stay to experience the beaches, golf, hiking, deep sea fishing, diving, and old world charm of the two island and their cities and small towns. Madeira remains an uncrowned and authentic jewel of European charm, where a visitor can experience the sea, mountain hiking, or city culture—or easily all three in one day.